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  7. ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design

ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design

  • 01:00 - 7 October, 2011
ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design
ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design, © Taeoh Kim
© Taeoh Kim

© Robert Such © Robert Such © Taeoh Kim © Taeoh Kim +24

From the architect. The ChonGae Canal Restoration Project is an ambitious redevelopment initiative that transformed the urban fabric of Seoul, Korea. This design was the winning project in an international competition and celebrates the source point of cleansed surficial and sub grade runoff from the city at the start of this seven mile green corridor. The main competition requirement was to highlight the future reunification of North and South Korea. The project symbolizes this political effort through the use of donated local stone from each of the eight provinces of North and South Korea. The individual stones act to frame the urban plaza and the eight source points where runoff is daylighted and represents the unified effort in the transformation of this urban center.

© Robert Such
© Robert Such

The ChonGae River Restoration Project is located at the important source point of this seven-mile green corridor that begins in the central business and commercial district of the city. The goal was to restore this highly polluted and covered water-way with the demolition of nearly four miles of at grade and elevated highway infrastructure that divided the city. The outcome is the creation of a pedestrian focused zone from this former vehicular access way that brings people to the historic ChonGae River while mitigating flooding and improving water quality.

section and model
section and model

The charge of this international design competition was to create a symbolic representation of the future reunification of North and South Korea within a highly active public plaza. This winning proposal defined the eight provinces through the use of local materials and eight sources of water. Regional stone quarried from each of the eight areas, eight source points of water and fiber-optic light highlight this collaborative effort of reunification and restoration.

 plan / water level
plan / water level

The design was guided by the water levels from hour to hour and season to season, while addressing the catastrophic flooding that occurs during intense storms in the Monsoon season. The unique sloped and stepped stone elements allow for a reading of the various levels of water while encouraging direct public engagement with the river. The restoration of this area is the first step in a major redevelopment effort of this seven-mile river and current ambitious architectural redevelopment projects that frame this natural drainage basin to the city. Since the ribbon cutting ceremony in October 2005 on the main plaza, nearly 10 million visitors and residents have visited the river.

© Taeoh Kim
© Taeoh Kim

In addition to the environmental restoration effort, this urban open space has become a central gathering place for the city which is in dire need of more public landscapes. The Class II water quality level has allowed for families to come and reengage with this historical river. During specialized events such as the traditional New Year’s festivals, political rallies, fashion shows and rock concerts both the plaza and the Water Source area get redefined in inventive ways. Recently, coins that were tossed in the canal by visitors were collected from the basin and thousands of dollars were donated to local charities.

Text provided by Mikyoung Kim Design.

© Taeoh Kim
© Taeoh Kim
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design" 07 Oct 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/174242/chongae-canal-restoration-project-mikyoung-kim-design/>
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28 Comments

meo me kie · September 25, 2013

The water comes from the river which was previously underground - it did not dry up. It also comes from city run off that has been filtered.
The reunification of North and South Korea was the theme of the competition put on my the Seoul government.

roon0227 · June 25, 2012

The name is mistyped!!
Not ChonGae, but "Cheonggye".
Cheonggye-cheon(stream)

Cheese Ng · December 19, 2011

ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design | ArchDaily http://t.co/4HTNPfY5 via @archdaily

oil sirima · November 22, 2011

???????????????????????????? Chon Gae ????????? Seoul ????? http://t.co/FNYlPwiv

a · November 22, 2011

???????????????????????????? Chon Gae ????????? Seoul ????? http://t.co/FNYlPwiv

?°???.,?(???)?? · November 22, 2011

???????????????????????????? Chon Gae ????????? Seoul ????? http://t.co/FNYlPwiv

Patsiri · November 22, 2011

RT @Bangkok_2474: ???????????????????????????? Chon Gae ????????? Seoul ????? http://t.co/YJ2fpDFi

?Bangkok 2474 · November 22, 2011

???????????????????????????? Chon Gae ????????? Seoul ????? http://t.co/FNYlPwiv

Ace Thanaboon · November 21, 2011

?????????????????????????????? "Chon Gae Canal" ????????????????????????????????? ?????????????? http://t.co/rwVwKPUh /via @Bangkok_2474

?Bangkok 2474 · November 21, 2011

?????????????????????????????? "Chon Gae Canal" ????????????????????????????????? ?????????????? http://t.co/FNYlPwiv

??? · November 14, 2011

??? ?? ??? ??. ?? http://t.co/vyM2yKxu

Al · October 12, 2011

ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design | ArchDaily http://t.co/YeqhsEeA vía @archdaily

Julie Florio · October 12, 2011

Waterway Dreams of Unification: ChonGae Canal Restoration Project http://t.co/25KcGniz via @archdaily #design #architecture #politics

groza cristian · October 11, 2011

Amazing! ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design http://t.co/ziig8grZ

ArqSoft · October 11, 2011

ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design | ArchDaily http://t.co/Nj90KjjX via @archdaily

kirana nur novianti · October 11, 2011

this is cool!!! ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design | ArchDaily http://t.co/Fl0mqFHb via @archdaily

abd alkareem ibrahim · October 10, 2011

I really liked the way how do they respect the water , since from the water makes everything alive , so they give a life for that area and for the buildings surrounds. They create a nice calm atmospheric by giving the people the chance to talk to and touch the water.

AdvancedTechKR · October 10, 2011

Get the #Design Story on the ChonGae Canal that runs down the heart of #Seoul, Korea! http://t.co/qs0KUPm8 #travelkorea #visitkorea

Darryl Moore · October 09, 2011

Reunification through landscape design - ChonGae Canal Restoration Project by Mikyoung Kim Design http://t.co/PWcx4JoA

Reem.O · October 09, 2011

i definitely liked the notion of acquiring the stones from eight different areas and creating a public plaza that unifies both North and South Korea. i also liked the variety of figures and drawings shown, yet the design could have been defined stronger to show the connection more vividly and spiritually, even though it shows that a lot of thought have been put in this project.

emmanuel kim · October 09, 2011

ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design | ArchDaily http://t.co/fHYRdRHl via @archdaily

luo wanmei · October 09, 2011

???????????????????

Nicholas Patten · October 09, 2011

ChonGae Canal Restoration Project. http://t.co/ZPbBzIIf

Aibek Boranbayev · October 08, 2011

ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design | ArchDaily http://t.co/RZEJ7P1w via @archdaily

Margaret Bryant · October 08, 2011

Great photos of Seoul&#39s ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / Mikyoung Kim Design http://t.co/KZbFWyXd via @archdaily

cheon · October 08, 2011

but it's not a 'restoration' project. they pump up the water artificially. looks fine but it's like giant concrete fishbowl.

and i can't see that 'reunification of notrh/south korea' anywhere from the project. how does that words actually works?

bleachcity · September 04, 2012 05:11 PM

can't agree more!! that's exactly what i feel when i see that project.
the old river has already dried out as far as i know

Marco Valencia · October 07, 2011

Que buen diseño , seria una belleza que algún día nuestro río Rocha sea así , haber si estas imágenes llegan a nuestros gobernantes municipales y puedan reivindicarse con proyectos que si valen la pena como este

eky · October 07, 2011

cool design with romantic atmosphere

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© Taeoh Kim

ChonGae运河修复计划 / Mikyoung Kim Design